Sunday, 12 June 2016
Irregular Choice: Star Wars Floral Artoo
This week I have the first of my in-depth reviews from the Irregular Choice Star Wars collection, phase 2! No fancy photos I'm afraid, I've not been feeling up to it and couldn't put my hand on anything thematic for the setting, so ordinary pics it is. You can find photos of my other R2D2 heels from this launch (Battle With Artoo) on my feet, over on The Shoe Girl Diaries, though I still have those to review here (and Day Of The Trooper).
I'll begin with the bits that remained the same. The soles are different on the left and right foot, but the same images as the original R2D2 heels from the first collection. Likewise the shimmering galaxy-like insole is the same for most styles (though not all) in both collections. The black box with window insert, patterned Star Wars logo and tissue paper remain unchanged.
The R2D2 model heel is the same mould as last time. It's really rather detailed, both painted and sculpted and is a perfectly scaled replica of the real thing. After finding the newer version MUCH comfier and easier to walk in, we've had lots of discussions on social media and there is a couple of minor changes to the positioning (the heel sits further back on the shoe, where the original was pushed in closer to the instep) and a very tiny difference in height. It's amazing that these can produce such noticeable results, but brilliant that it's been noted that the originals were tricky to walk in and painful! I've still photographed the heel from every angle for you, though I'm sure I also did it in my original post. Back then I spoke about how wide the heel was and that sometimes the heels would clink together if you forgot to keep your feet apart when walking. The front bow goes some ways to reminding you of that, as it also sticks out the sides.
Onto the new bits and I'll stick with the bows. WOW! There's two really large, stiff bows, covered in silver glitter of varying sizes. They are ridiculously sparkly in the light. The back bow which sits at the top of your heel is the most beautiful bow I've ever seen. Without a doubt. I'm a big bow fan and have seen many in my time, but the way this one sits, all puffed up and proud, it's just stunning. As a result the back view of these shoes is one of my favourites. The front bow in comparison is a little disappointing, I'd have loved that to sit looped too, but it's flatter, so loses some of that visual impact for me. I'd highly recommend hairspraying both bows before wear, because they are prone to glitter fall-out. Just be sure and protect the rest of the shoe, especially the suedette section at the heel.
As for the shoe, well this was a style I hadn't seen in previews and whenever they launched, they leaped out at me. I'd totally buy these with or without that heel. They have bold retro floral uppers, not a print you'd immediately associate with Star Wars. That was echoed in the whole collection I felt. Phase 2 was more 'prettified', with a lot of glitter, bows, florals and mesh, where the first collection was more character/theme lead. I'm only surmising, but perhaps because of that, this range appealed more to Irregular Choice (non SW) fans, whereas the first was a favourite among Star Wars fans. Certainly I could see myself in any of the phase 2 designs and I've never watched any of the SW films. Another thing to note, there were no fancy extras this time such as noisy and flashing light saber heels and sounds from the movies. Though the trainers and sandals do have small flashing lights, like their regular counterparts from the main range. This was reflected in the price points with many priced lower than the cheapest from the first collection. The bigger heels such as Darth Vader or the Stormtrooper always seem to be pricier than R2D2, but there were many more variations this time round from just heels or flats. There were flatform slides, sandals and trainers as well as platform sandals and shoes, though no ankle boots (being a Spring/Summer collection).
Anyway, the shoes are trimmed in cobalt blue glitter, a fine scalloped edging and there's blue suede along the very tip so the glitter isn't scratchy against the foot. They have blue suedette scalloped sections at the toe and heel, just like the original R2D2's. The shape of the shoe is similar to Cherry Deer (fawn heels) or Fluffy Tail (gold bunny heels), with the dumpy toe and low t-bar. Armed with this knowledge, I should've thought to size up like I did in those two styles. Perhaps the excitement on the day, addition of bows bamboozling me or just that I've been fitting more 5's lately, I didn't size up and when they arrived they were too small! Of course by then they'd sold out in all sizes, but I stalked the site until I found the size up (6/39) and have returned the 5/38 pictured here. You'll probably be able to see from some of the angle of these photos, that there's very little toe to the front of the shoe. Combined with the high heel, your foot goes in, but only vertically and doesn't really have anywhere to go horizontally, so your toes just stick there. I find even in the 6's they curl under and I have to wiggle them into position inside the shoe. For some reason, when the original order arrived, I managed to get my foot in the 5, but they were tight. I've tried again many times and never managed to get my heel in the shoe, it was always sticking out the back. I had no such issues with Battle Of Artoo and if anything they might grow to be a bit big in the heel over time (in my usual size). So I found I needed to size up in Floral Artoo but not in the original R2D2 or Battle With Artoo.
I'm already fond of this shoe shape and I'm ecstatic the heel is easier to manage in this collection. I personally would never turn my nose up at glitter, bows or florals, so I'm a bit spoilt with the triple cocktail here. I think the bold colour and print might make them trickier to style than the original R2's, though their shelf appeal is off the charts! Given that I can actually walk in these confidently though, I'm itching to wear them out sometime soon. Backwards of course, so everyone can bow down to my amazing bows! What do you think, do you like these, did you buy any of the new season Star Wars styles? I updated my stockist list the other day, if there's still something from this range you're trying to track down (my returns haven't yet been dealt with, so there's still hope of finding returns in your size).